Matthew 2: 1-12
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem village, Judah territory— this was during Herod’s kingship—a band of scholars arrived in Jerusalem from the East. They asked around, “Where can we find and pay homage to the newborn King of the Jews? We observed a star in the eastern sky that signaled his birth. We’re on pilgrimage to worship him.”
When word of their inquiry got to Herod, he was terrified—and not Herod alone, but most of Jerusalem as well. Herod lost no time. He gathered all the high priests and religion scholars in the city together and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”
They told him, “Bethlehem, Judah territory. The prophet Micah wrote it plainly:
It’s you, Bethlehem, in Judah’s land,
no longer bringing up the rear.
From you will come the leader
who will shepherd-rule my people, my Israel.”
Herod then arranged a secret meeting with the scholars from the East. Pretending to be as devout as they were, he got them to tell him exactly when the birth-announcement star appeared. Then he told them the prophecy about Bethlehem, and said, “Go find this child. Leave no stone unturned. As soon as you find him, send word and I’ll join you at once in your worship.”
Instructed by the king, they set off. Then the star appeared again, the same star they had seen in the eastern skies. It led them on until it hovered over the place of the child. They could hardly contain themselves: They were in the right place! They had arrived at the right time!
They entered the house and saw the child in the arms of Mary, his mother. Overcome, they kneeled and worshiped him. Then they opened their luggage and presented gifts: gold, frankincense, myrrh.
In a dream, they were warned not to report back to Herod. So they worked out another route, left the territory without being seen, and returned to their own country.
I am a great believer that God has a plan for each and every one of us and that great events happen at specific intervals to help us stay on course to ensure we achieve God’s plan. Those of you have been involved in planning an event, no matter the size, will understand that a number of different elements need to come together in order for the event to run smoothly. This takes a lot of meticulous organisation and each part of the event has its own action plan and timeline.
The epiphany reveals to me the greatness of God and how well he has planned our existence. The scholars from the East followed a star which led them to Jesus in Bethlehem. What I have failed to realise previously is the amount of time it takes for light from stars to reach the earth, I have read somewhere that when we look at the stars we are looking into the past.
To me this shows how far in advance God has laid plans. If God can create a star in the universe that would shine bright at the exact moment the wise men were studying the skies and lead them to Jesus, what signs has he already planted for us to follow?
So as this new year begins I think we should take a leaf out of the Wise Men’s books and keep our eyes wide for a sign and when we have found our ‘stars’ we to should follow them to see where it leads us and then remember to pay homage and worship the one who lead us to the destination whatever it may be.
Happy New Year!
Gina Hindley - Salesian Cooperator
As this New Year begins and we make resolutions help us to stop or start an activity that leads us closer to you. You have made plans for us that are greater than any we could imagine or make for ourselves help us to unravel these plans just like you helped the band of Scholars from the East understand their importance of meeting and worshipping your son.